(WASHINGTON)(June 30, 2022)-- — Today, the U.S Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plant emissions under the Clean Air Act. The decision in West Virginia v. EPA undermines efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from coal and gas fired power plants using the Clean Air Act.
In response, the People vs Fossil Fuels coalition - made up of over 1200 groups nationwide - is calling on President Biden and Congress to take immediate action.
“As we face another summer of drought, heat, storms and fires, our nation’s highest court is tearing down desperately needed climate protections for the profit of corporate polluters,” a statement from the People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition read. “Fortunately, the Supreme Court’s fossil-fueled attack on the Clean Air Act does nothing to undermine President Biden’s authority under other bedrock laws to follow through on his climate promises using executive action. Biden can declare a climate emergency and stop new fossil fuel leases, exports, pipelines and other infrastructure today.”
Biden has the legal authority to follow through on his promise to ban new federal fossil fuel leasing, halt permit approvals for new pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, and hit the brakes on new gas exports. Using authorities under the National Emergencies Act and the Defense Production Act, the president could also halt crude oil exports, stop offshore oil and gas drilling, restrict international fossil fuel investment and rapidly manufacture and distribute clean and renewable energy systems.
Following last week’s devastating reversal of Roe v. Wade, today’s decision only emphasizes the urgent need for President Biden and Congress to take action to reform and expand the Supreme Court, including creating additional seats, setting term limits and implementing ethics rules. Without comprehensive reforms to the Supreme Court, a handful of bad actors will continue to pursue a corporate-driven agenda at the expense of the environment, public health, and personal freedoms.
Momentum is on the side of the climate movement and the People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition. Two weeks ago, Biden followed through on the People vs Fossil Fuels movement's demand to use the Defense Production Act to boost renewable energy manufacturing under the guidance of workers, environmental justice communities, and other impacted people.
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